The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of the depth of local anesthesia application on procedural pain during lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injection.
Sixty-eight patients were enrolled who were scheduled for single-level, unilateral fluoroscopically guided lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid injection. Patients were randomly allocated to receive either subcutaneous local anesthesia (group S) or deep local anesthesia (group D) for transforaminal epidural steroid injection. The data related to pain and technical performance during the procedure was compared. In addition, the incidence of injection site soreness was assessed 2 wks after transforaminal epidural steroid injection.
Sixty-seven patients completed all assessments (group S, n = 33; group D, n = 34). There was no significant difference in procedural pain and discomfort level between the groups (P = 0.151, P = 0.183, respectively). Patients in group D showed lower behavioral pain scores (P = 0.017). There was no significant difference in the numbers of needle manipulations, fluoroscopy time, and radiation dose during the procedure between the groups. Two patients in group S and three in group D complained of injection site soreness after transforaminal epidural steroid injection for a few days, but there was no significant difference in its incidence (P = 0.667).
Deep local anesthesia to reduce procedural pain during transforaminal epidural steroid injection seems to have no significant clinical benefit compared with conventional subcutaneous local anesthesia.
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Reduce procedural pain by considering clinical factors of the patient during fluoroscopically guided lumbar transforaminal epidural injections.
Upon completion of this article, the reader should be able to: (1) Understand the potential impact of procedural pain on the performance of transforaminal epidural steroid injections; (2) Distinguish cutaneous nociceptive afferents from nociceptive afferents in muscle; and (3) Explain the factors to reduce procedural pain during fluoroscopically guided lumbar transforaminal epidural injections.
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From the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Anesthesia and Pain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
All correspondence should be addressed to: Shin Hyung Kim, MD, PhD, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Anesthesia and Pain Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03722, Republic of Korea.
This study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (ref: NCT03308136).
Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.
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